“Trade shows have had their time. They are just an opportunity to spend massive amounts of money, without generating nothing. Now, you should invest everything into the development of marketing automation!”

The significance of trade shows in modern sales and marketing

When I hear comments such as this, my first thought is that the significance of trade shows within marketing as a whole may not have been properly understood. Whichever marketing tool we are using should support the objectives of the company in its own specific way.

With development, we are constantly receiving new tools and related terms for our everyday lives. New and unknown things must be defined so that they can become familiar. For example, one of the definitions for marketing automation is to “improve and automate repeated marketing processes, classify leads, and maintain customer interest.”

Now, how would you define trade shows? Precisely! When something becomes ordinary, we may find it hard to update our thinking with regard to it, let alone our actions. In principle, old patterns control our operation and in the worst-case scenario we neglect opportunities for significant benefits by developing what already exists.

How can trade shows be an effective, modern marketing channel?

In all likelihood, you are a user of some social media platform, possible also a member of a group that interests you. You read posts and may participate in discussion, you share your own experiences and vicariously experience those of others, you may be upset by critique, but in any case, you are a part of that group on some emotional level.

You could begin modernizing trade shows on both a mental and operational level by using the following definitions, for example:

  • Trade shows are much more than social media
  • Humans want genuine emotional experiences
  • Trade show visitors are a potential target group that has been highly screened in advance
  • Trade shows are a sales event (you are selling ideas, future meetings, authorization to contact decision-makers, products, etc.)
  • You are reinventing the way your booth operates
  • You have trained your personnel to act in a new way
  • You are able to utilize all human senses to create a lasting impression
  • You incorporate the visitors into your “tribe” and build community spirit
  • You link experiences with your company
  • You have specified goals for the trade show
  • You measure the realization of those goals
  • Trade shows support other marketing measures

Trade shows are simultaneously both a traditional and modern way to utilize the varying social needs of people and business opportunities.

Dare to stand out!